Of late, news coverage in these parts has been dominated by the Waldo Canyon near Colorado Springs, the High Park fire outside of Fort Collins and other destructive wildfires across the state. But that doesn't mean our criminal justice system has taken a break. Note the guilty pleas of Calvin Pitts and Amanda Deleon in the death of their son, Sanai, whose body showed shocking signs of abuse as outlined in a police report below.
According to the statement of probable cause on view in this post, police responded to an address on South Federal Boulevard at around 8 a.m. on June 11, 2011. There, they found three-month-old Sanai (his name is misspelled in the document), who did not respond to treatment. He was rushed to Swedish Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead forty minutes later -- and despite his youth, his body had seen more than its share of injury.
The doctor on charge noted left and right femur fractures in various states of healing, a left-wrist fracture, a burn on the back of the left thigh, a scab on his chin, an abrasion behind the right ear and a tear inside the left ear.
Shortly thereafter, Calvin Pitts, the boy's father, was taken to police headquarters. He told investigators that about two weeks previously, Amanda Deleon, Sanai's mom, had said she'd hurt the child's leg. In an attempt to reduce its swelling, he moistened a towel, put it in the microwave and wrapped it around the infant's leg -- where, astonishingly enough, it caused the severe burn (estimated at second- or third-degree) noticed at Swedish.
When asked why Pitts didn't take Sanai for medical treatment, he replied that he was afraid people would think badly of him. Really.
Next, Pitts was asked about a burn on the bottom of the boy's right foot -- an injury not mentioned in the original inventory. He said he'd been smoking a cigarette and fell asleep, at which point the smoking coffin nail fell and landed on Sanai. He'd treated this injury with ointment.
These response appear to have been more than enough to justify the arrest of Pitts and Deleon -- an experience they'd been through before. As we reported in the post linked above, he'd previously done time for a drug conviction and had a sex assault on his record, while her busts touched on assault, robbery and drugs.
They won't get the chance to engage in activities like these for a long, long time -- at least not on the outside. They avoided trial on first-degree murder charges by pleading guilty last week to child abuse resulting in death. Each was sentenced to forty years in prison.
Look below to see booking photos of Pitts and Deleon, a Fox31 report from the time of their arrests and the probable cause statement.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Terance Wilson says he didn't sucker punch Nathan Engle to death, despite his broken hand."
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.